Connecting the Dots

Preventing Multiple Forms of Violence

The different forms of violence—child abuse and neglect, youth violence, intimate partner violence, sexual violence, elder abuse and suicidal behavior—are interconnected and often share the same root causes. Understanding the overlapping causes of violence and the things that can protect people and communities can help us better prevent violence in all its forms. From 2016-2020, the Division of Violence Prevention’s strategic vision Preventing Multiple Forms of Violence: A Strategic Vision for Connecting the Dots pdf icon[775 KB, 18 Pages] focused on helping us understand, respond to, and ultimately prevent violence across the lifespan. Although the division updated its strategic vision for 2020-2024, Connecting the Dots remains a critical foundation for how we approach our violence prevention work.

Why use a cross-cutting approach?

Several decades of research, prevention, and services have revealed a lot about the different forms of violence and how to prevent and respond to them. One fact that continuously emerges from this body of work is that the different forms of violence are strongly interconnected. Previous research indicates that:

  • Victims of one form of violence are likely to experience other forms of violence.
  • People who have been violent in one context (e.g., toward peers) are likely to be violent in another context (e.g., toward dating partners).
  • The different forms of violence share common consequences that have health effects across the lifespan such as mental, emotional, physical or social problems. These consequences may contribute to chronic health problems such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, lung disease, or diabetes.
  • The different forms of violence share common risk and protective factors.

To learn more about how different types of violence are connected and hear how communities are using this approach to prevent violence, visit Connecting the Dots on DVP’s VetoViolence website.

To explore connections between different types of violence and their shared risk and protective factors visit the Connections Selector on DVP’s VetoViolence website.

Page last reviewed: January 28, 2021